City of Darkness: Revisited


The completed book
The completed book


It is now approaching 10 years since City of Darkness Revisited was first published and in that time your support has seen the original print-run ­– plus three separate reprints – continue to sell well. Our thanks to everyone who has made this possible.

Over that time we have managed to retain the original retail price to £58.50, but sadly ever-increasing production and delivery costs mean a modest rise in price is now inevitable. A new price of £64.00 per copy will come into effect when the fourth reprint becomes available in mid-March.

Complicating matters, due to an unexpected rush of orders in the two months before Christmas, copies of the most recent reprint are now out of stock, but we will continue to accept orders at the original price of £58.50 until the new copies arrive. This will mean a delay in dispatching copies, but all orders will be sent out as soon as the new reprint arrives. Regular newsletters will be sent to all those who order in advance to keep you up to date on progress.

Please scroll down to learn more about the two editions and visit the ‘Order a Book’ page to place an order. Again, our thanks.





Bringing this book to fruition was certainly  an extraordinary journey and one that took far longer than we expected or intended. But having set ourselves the challenge of producing the best possible book about the Walled City, it was difficult to know when to stop. When we set out we thought a book of around 300 pages would be more than enough. In the end it ran to over 350 and in all honesty could easily have expanded to 400 or more.

There are a dozen or so more photographs that I would have liked to include and I am sure there is still a lot more about the City’s history to be uncovered. Right until the book went to print, we were still meeting people that we would liked to have interviewed, although we never did manage to track down any of those we photographed in the first edition, to find out where they are now – something we would have very much liked to achieve.

We could, for example, have easily spent another two or three weeks at the Public Records Office going through all files held there pertaining to the Walled City. we perhaps trawled through around a quarter of them – all those that seemed the most interesting from the short summary provided in the catalogue – and there were gems to be found in every one. There is certainly more to be found there, but that is for others to discover.

For now, I am happy to show off the book Greg and I, not forgetting our wonderful designer Susan Scott, have managed to produce in this new edition. As explained elsewhere, the book includes, as well as many interviews from the original edition, a number of new essays and numerous new images on topics not covered before: whether about the City’s architectural development in the 40 or so short years of its existence; the truth behind its many myths as ‘a den of iniquity’; the politics that allowed it to develop in the way that it did; and how it has been transformed through the power of popular culture, both in Hong Kong and around the world.

I include below a display of typical spreads to illustrate far better than I can in words how the new book looks and feels.


The Standard Edition has 356 pages – at a trimmed page size of 270 x 273mm – and contains over 320 photographs, nearly all in colour. The book is hardbound and is delivered in a printed card slipcase.

The book can be ordered now at the current retail price of £64.00 (for the UK) or more for other parts of the world. All prices include postage. Please refer to the ‘Order a Book’ page for details.


The opening spread of the book's Introduction by Peter Poham
The opening spread of the book’s Introduction by Peter Poham




Historical photographs from 'Architecture of a Mini City'
Historical photographs from ‘Architecture of a Mini City


At work in a rubber factory
At work in a rubber factory






The original edition of the book, City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City, served us remarkably well for close on 20 years, transforming from hardback to softback and being reprinted multiple times, always from the printer’s films produced when the book was first published in 1993. Every copy of the original edition came from that one set of films.

The deluxe Special Reprint edition, signed and including one of the original page films, is now sold out. However, we still have a limited number of unsigned copies of the book, including slipcase, available at the reduced price of £120.00 including UK postage, or £140.00 to Europe and £160.00 to the rest of the world. Please go to the ‘Order a Book’ page for further details.